Tables are turned
With vinyl making a comeback, Raj Bains spent a day in the life of one of Yorkshire’s most popular stores to find out who is behind the revival. Pictures by James Hardisty.
Record stores – and the people that work in them – have a reputation. Like Championship Vinyl in Nick Hornby’s High Fidelity they are often regarded as a home to music snobs, who look unfavourably on anyone buying a record which has ever troubled the charts. The opposite, however, is true of Jumbo Records in Leeds, which has been pushing vinyl for the best part of 50 years. Being in a city which values live music, from the ever popular Leeds Festival at Bramham Park to the annual Live At Leeds event, helps.
It initially opened on the balcony of the Queens Arcade, before an increase in demand required more space. While a brief tenancy in the Merrion Centre occurred in 1974, it was in the St John’s Centre where Jumbo really found a home for itself, moving in during 1988 and staying for the subsequent 30 years.
Home to racks of vinyl records, CDs, cassette tapes, various pieces of memorabilia, magazines and the odd fanzine to boot, the store has kept one foot ahead of its competition by staying true to its roots.
While the record industry might be undergoing a vinyl renaissance right now – with chain stores and supermarkets capitalising on the renewed interest in the a physical format – Jumbo always suspected that those who predicted its death were being a little premature.